Measure D: Important Election Facts
Sierra Madre officials claim that if passed, Measure D would force the City to cut critical municipal services, going so far as to consider shutting the city down if the $2.6 million tax is repealed. It is our opinion that the City requires this tax to keep up with out of control spending.
- According to the City’s audited financial statements, since 2006 General Fund revenues have risen 82% while expenditures swelled a whopping 89%. Even with massive revenue gains, spending continues to outpace income.
- In the Mountain Views News (3/17/18), Mayor Rachelle Arizmendi is quoted as stating that “This City Council has worked hard to keep our police and fire services here in Sierra Madre while still maintaining a balanced budget.” Balanced budget? The City’s silence on the $10 to $40 million pension debt and where it came from is deafening.
- Retired city employees can earn up to 90% of their salaries for the rest of their lives, plus uncapped lifetime medical benefits for themselves and their spouse.1
- CalPERS grossly over-estimates the investment returns to generate enough funds to cover lifetime retirement payments.
- CalPERS bases their calculations on a 7% rate of return, but the ten-year average is closer to 3.5%.
Sierra Madre’s Pension Debt
- CalPERS 2015 estimate: $10.7 million
- Stanford Inst. 2015 estimate: $40.4 million
- For example, Sierra Madre’s former Library Services Director retired in 2011 and as of 2017 was being paid an annual pension of $100,639. A retirement lasting 20 years would add up to a grand total of over $2 million.
1Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research at PensionTracker.org